By Mark Raby,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Educational action game puts algebra into missions.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Kids can learn how basic algebra and arithmetic can be relevant in the real world. DimensionM is designed to reinforce math concepts that players have already learned in school. For example, kids can learn how to figure out their current location on a map by figuring out how to decipher the x- and y-coordinates. The concept of this game is not to teach these mathematical skills, but to help kids learn that there can be practical applications for these concepts. Kids navigate a mysterious sci-fi world filled with sometimes disconnected math questions.
The message in this game can be summarized in three words -- math is cool. The game is similar to many of the high-action PC games available on the market today, but it incorporates random math questions, which can vary from adding or subtracting fractions to identifying the x- and y-coordinates on a grid. By presenting the educational aspect in a high-energy, "cool-looking" game, it's able to display a message that learning doesn't have to be boring.
Positive Role Models
Players are guided through most of the game with impersonal on-screen text describing their missions and objectives, instead of presenting a large cast of heroes or character. The player is the hero in this game, and can work with others online to complete the challenges more efficiently.
Ease of Play
There are options for elementary, middle, and high school levels of difficulty. The core gameplay itself -- solving missions and seeking out targeted objects -- is basic enough for most players with any math knowledge to be able to navigate. Players receive a score card in the game and can adjust their difficulty setting if the math questions prove to be too tough.
Violence & Scariness
Players use a fantastical weapon (rather than a gun) to shoot pesky robots that simply disappear when hit.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that DimensionM is a sci-fi adventure game with math questions tied into the storyline. There is some mild violence in the form of shooting pesky robots who are hindering your progress. This online math game has been used to supplement math curriculum in schools. It has been the source of tournaments and competitions throughout the country, letting students realize that math can be fun and exciting. When used in classroom curricula, teachers can see the progress of individual students and monitor their performance on math questions.
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What’s It About?
DIMENSIONM puts players in the role of an agent who is sent on a mission to find a missing person. The story is filled with intrigue and encourages players to keep pushing forward to learn more details about the unraveling mystery. The story is a key point of focus for the game, and it's one that is not overly complex. Math exercises show up through the course of the game. Some of these exercises tie into the story, and at those times it really excels because it shows players how those intangible numbers and equations they see in the classroom can be used in a more interactive environment.
Is It Any Good?
DimensionM employs a very creative way of including math comprehension and testing in a non-threatening way. That is, this game could just as easily be described as an action game as it is a "math game." While the graphics don't rival other multi-million-dollar productions available to the commercial market, it is certainly a much more engaging, fun experience than reading a textbook or studying flash cards. The online multiplayer and frequent inclusion of tournaments inspire healthy competition and cooperation. Players have an incentive to solve as many questions as they can, and to do it more quickly than their friends.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how video games can be used as teaching tools. What have you learned from playing other games?
Where can you use math skills in real life? Have you used them in other math games?
What is your favorite school subject?
- Platforms: Mac, Windows
- Subjects: Math: addition, algebra, equations
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: applying information, problem solving, thinking critically
- Pricing structure: Free
- Available online?: Available online
- Publisher: Tabula Digita
- Release date: June 25, 2007
- Genre: Educational
- ESRB rating: NR
- Last updated: August 30, 2016
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